Creating an Inclusive Office for the Holidays

inclusive workplace on the holidays

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Celebrating Holidays in the Workplace

 

As the owner of a company, you want to focus on keeping your workplace diverse and inclusive. According to BuiltIn.com, diverse companies get 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee than less diverse ones. For this reason, one goal for hiring managers is to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. The most important month for a company to help make their employees feel included is in December. We wanted to give you some tips for creating an inclusive office for the holidays.

December is usually one of the craziest months of the year for some companies. December is the last month before the new year, which is when companies rush to fill quotas, budget, and much more. However, even more importantly, in December, employers have to make sure their employees feel included during the holiday season. There are 14 religious holidays celebrated in December. Do you know them all?

This article will explain how to make sure your employees feel included when creating an inclusive office for the holidays.

Understanding the Stressfulness of the Month

 

We are all stressed during the holiday season. Whether you are preparing your house for your in-laws or staying up at night to write that report for your boss, we all have that one thing that makes the holidays a stressful time.

According to SSRN, stress contributes to decreased organizational performance, reduced employee overall performance, high error rate and poor quality of work, high staff turnover, and absenteeism due to health problems such as anxiety, emotional disorder; work-life imbalance; depression, and more.

Unfortunately, removing stress from the workplace can be stressful in itself because it is nearly impossible, but minimizing it during the holiday season is crucial. One of the ways to do this is to make your workplace inclusive of all holidays.

You Can’t Prevent the Inevitable.

 

Once Thanksgiving hits, productivity in employees naturally goes down until the new year. Based on Peakon’s study, 10% of people reported that they were less productive for the entire month of December, and 40% of the study’s participants said they were less productive by mid-December.

What is inevitable in December? The inevitable is a decrease in productivity. There are many reasons for this, but you can limit the decline in productivity by making your workplace inclusive of all holidays. There will inevitably be a decrease in productivity, but as you know, a diverse and inclusive workplace gets 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. Having an inclusive office all year round, especially during the holidays, will boost team morale and help minimize the decrease in productivity that most businesses see in December. 

Holidays in late November & December

Not sure what holidays are celebrated in November and December? Here is a full list!

We won’t go into detail about each because I don’t want this blog to overwhelm you, but for a description of each, visit deseret.com

As you can see, many of these holidays are celebrated by different religions. It is essential to understand that just because most Americans celebrate Christmas doesn’t mean that the other holidays shouldn’t also be observed in the office. About ¾ of our country’s population consists of Christians. Even though there are a small number of other religions, it can harm your organization’s engagement if one of your employee’s holidays is not recognized.

One mistake that companies make is having a “holiday” party that consists of a Christmas tree, ornaments, and gifts underneath. Just because you intended not to have a Christmas party doesn’t mean the holiday party was fully inclusive. Instead, have a more straightforward approach to the holidays. A way of expressing your inclusiveness as a company is to recognize employees’ faiths and wish them a happy holiday on their faith’s day.

Plan Ahead

 

Diverse Planning Committee

 

First things first, the more people on a team is usually better. Creating a diverse planning committee should be your first step to create a more inclusive office. This committee should consist of a group of individuals with carrying beliefs. Each individual will have their perspective on the holidays, making it a group discussion on how to go forth with celebrations. A group of individuals with different beliefs will develop some great ways to create a highly inclusive workplace during December and throughout the year. Creating a committee is a great way to start celebrating the holidays in the workplace.

Schedule around Holidays

 

Imagine having your office come to work on Christmas for a holiday party? The attendance will more than likely be at an all-time low because the last thing people want is to celebrate Christmas at work rather than with family. The same goes for other religious holidays. 

Make sure to check the interfaith calendar before scheduling your end-of-the-year office party. For example, organizing a holiday party on Dec. 2 will interfere with Hanukkah.

Host a Voluntary Party

 

The worst thing you can do is have a mandatory holiday party. Most people will not mind going to the holiday party, but some religions don’t celebrate holidays.

Make sure to avoid anything mandatory when it comes to anything related to holidays. Ensure it is well known that it is voluntary, and there is no necessity for anyone to attend! Don’t pressure people to come in for a voluntary party.

Non-Specific

 

At your next holiday party, make sure not to have decorations for one specific holiday. A Christmas tree and ornaments may offend some individuals. Make sure to avoid having any holiday-specific decorations! Celebrating a particular holiday at a workplace party can cause others to feel non-included.

Diverse Food

 

Offering different types of food is very important when it comes to a holiday party. Whether you are catering to various religious groups or vegetarians, it is essential to keep in mind that we all eat different types of food! Make sure to keep in mind all backgrounds before selecting food. Having a wide range of foods for everyone is an excellent tip to follow when celebrating workplace holidays.

Now that you know how to be more inclusive during the holidays, when will your holiday party be? For more information, check out this article SHRM.org wrote.

Now that you know more about making an inclusive workplace during the holidays, are you ready to start recruiting diverse talent?

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